Many angry thoughts were swimming through my head as Lionel left. Angry because I thought I was right, angry because nobody seemed to understand how I was affected, and angry because Lionel was right, I had lost it.
Perhaps I was missing something big here, but why was it so odd that I got upset over Sarina pretending to drown. Wasn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t the fact that I had gotten upset show that I cared too much to let her do something like that? Was I not allowed to be passionate over something I believed in? I mean, let’s get real for a second here.
Death was serious. Especially to someone who is trained to react to it. If you see someone who looks like they’re dying, you don’t take a moment to see if they are joking or not. You prepare for the worst and leap into action. What if she actually had been drowning, and I had shrugged it off because I thought she was pretending? And what if by the time I realized she wasn’t… it was too late?
Some would say “That’s a lot of what ifs.” But the fact of the matter is that that stuff happens, and I don’t want it to happen to me. I’m trying to make sure that my girlfriend doesn’t die in some freak accident. Sue me.
I debated over trying to text Sarina to see if she was ok and everything. She wasn’t, according to Lionel, but it was getting kind of late, and I was supposed to see Lionel and Claudia off at the airport tomorrow. At least, that’s what the plan used to be… I was sure I was in the mood anymore though.
Oh come on, my brain chided. Don’t get mad at Lionel for doing what a friend is supposed to do. That’s what a wingman is therefore: To tell you the stuff you don’t want to hear, but have to, even though it may make you mad.
I couldn’t argue with that logic, and decided that I would be at the airport tomorrow… if they’d still let me. Neither one had seemed like they wanted to be around me. Their flight left at eleven A.M.
Now back to your regularly scheduled romantic dilemma.
I paced around my room a few times before finally deciding to turn off my phone. If Sarina had really wanted to talk to me, she would have texted already. And while I was half-glad that Lionel came and talked to me, I was upset that Sarina had called him and not me. Lashing out at this point in time wouldn’t help either of us.
I did however have another idea. If Sarina was allowed to talk to someone else, then surely she wouldn’t begrudge me a similar opportunity. I went downstairs to use the kitchen phone and call someone who knew me almost as well as Lionel himself.
The phone rang a few times before it was picked p, and familiar voice said “Hello?”
“HI Claudia, it’s Daniel.”
“Oh… umm hey Daniel.”
I sensed something off in her voice.
“Is… is something wrong? Should I hang up?”
There was a moment of silence and then,
“I guess not. What’s up?”
I took deep breath and tried to figure out how to say what I wanted to say.
“I… Claudia do I … was I wrong to blow up at Sarina?”
Another, longer, moment of silence.
“Daniel I can’t really say for sure because I don’t know too many of the details, but I can say that whatever you did really hurt Sarina.” She took a deep breath then plowed ahead, “And Daniel, this is hard for me to say, but I think you need to hear it. You may have a reason behind what you did, but reasons shouldn’t be excuses. Reasons are just what they are called: Reasons. You can’t tell me that you seriously took time to think about it, and came to the reasonable decision that yelling at her was the best thing to do. You really need to slow down and stop thinking with your heart or whatever you call it. Use your head. I gotta go, Lionel is back. Bye Daniel… Talk to her ok?”
Talk to her…
Maybe. I turned on my phone and checked for new messages. None from Sarina. I’d wait for ten minutes. Usually she was the one who started a conversation and if she didn’t, I took that to mean that she didn’t want to. If there were no texts in the next ten minutes, then I would go to bed.
While I waited, I tried to take a few deep breaths and calm myself down to the point where I could think about what Lionel had said. He had come in wanting to help. He was just curious as to what had happened. And I got defensive and blew up.
Then I had started yelling at him about it was all his fault.
I pretty much implied he was messed up.
And I didn’t listen to a word he said.
Add all that up and it equals Lionel being right.
Which is probably why I didn’t want to talk to him, because I knew that once again, he would be right and I would be wrong. And I didn’t like being wrong. It meant that I had failed, and I disliked failure even more. It made me…
In fact… now that I thought about it… every time I had blown up had had something to do with failure.
Failure to work things out with Lionel: Punch in the face
Failure to stop Leeman: Punch a girl in the face
Fear that I would fail to save my girlfriend: Metaphorical slap in the face…
Failure to handle the situation adequately: Yell at Lionel…
So I did lose it a lot. Although in my defence, I was getting better at not punching people in the face. And at least I knew what caused my anger… with the right help, maybe I could use that to control myself. Or something.
But I had still failed lots of times without exploding… why were they so different? Maybe it wasn’t the failure that did it… what else did those situations have in common?
Well I was afraid in the issue with Sarina. I was afraid that Lionel was going to be right. I was afraid that Leeman would win. And I was afraid that I would lose my best friend… punching probably wasn’t the best idea in that case.
It was fear.
I decided to send a lengthy text to Lionel while I waited. Things were headed down the same road that they had gone down earlier, and more than anything, I didn’t want that to happen.
“Hey. I need to apologize for what I said. Did some thinking, and you were right as usual. I think that’s part of why I got upset. I think I also figured something out… kind hard to explain in a text so a call would be easier, or face to face at the airport tomorrow or something. I still want to see you off if you’re ok with that. Understand if you aren’t. Text me back whenever, I’m waiting to see if Sarina is going to text me or not. And if you’re still wondering… I got upset at her because I was afraid.”
I waited. Sarina’s ten minutes were nearly up, and I wasn’t really convinced that Lionel would text me back. I was about to grab my phone and turn it off once more when it vibrated. I had a new message.
“Sarina: Hey. Lionel said you wanted to talk?”
I smiled. That was my wingman. I sent a one word text to Lionel. He didn’t respond to it, but he didn’t have to. I turned back to my conversation with Sarina, hoping that I could get this right.
“You: Yeah. I need to apologize if I haven’t.”
“Sarina: You have, but I’ll take another one ;)”
“You: :P I’m sorry”
“Sarina: So was that it?”
“You: No. I… well, Lionel said you were scared, and it’s obvious that there is a misunderstanding and we need to fix it.”
“Sarina: I think that’s a good idea… you go first.”
“You: I was afraid.”
“You: It’s just bad enough when someone you don’t know starts to drown… because you can’t always save them… when it’s someone you care about, it makes it infinitely worse… I’m not trained to wait and see if you’re joking. So I guess the fear that you were going to die took hold and I lost it…”
“Sarina: I see… guess I didn’t think of it quite like that. I didn’t want to make you upset, I just wanted to have a little fun…”
I spotted the ellipsis and decided to call it out. It was a running “joke” between us. I say “joke” because many times it was actually serious.
“You: … means there’s more.”
“Sarina: Maybe… :P”
“You: What is it?”
“Sarina: It’s nothing… It can wait till later. I just wanna talk with you now. There’s too much seriousness going on here :D”
Against my better judgment, I let it go. I really hoped I wouldn’t regret it in the future.
Both of use were glad to be “over” the drowning issue, so we spent a while catching up and talking and being nonsensical like always. When I say long time, I mean we went to bed at about seven in the morning. That was not only past my "bedtime," it was past my "waketime." I was usually out of bed at 6-6:30, but I was glad that I had the opportunity to smooth things over with Sarina.
I wasn’t glad when I woke up and saw the clock.
They left at eleven, which meant they’d be there at just after ten to check in.
It was nearly a forty-five minute drive to the airport.